James Lee Purify was born on May 12, 1944, in Pensacola, Florida. "Bobby Purify" was actually two different singers. The first was James's cousin, Robert Lee Dickey (born September 2, 1939, Tallahassee, Florida), who adopted the Purify name for performing, and sang on their early records. The second Bobby was vocalist Ben Moore, who replaced Dickey in 1971 when he suffered health problems.
The duo continued into the 1980s, with no other big hits, but remained popular on the tour circuit. When James Purify faced legal problems (not career-related), Moore went solo, though still using the name 'Bobby Purify' occasionally. In 1983, he was nominated for a Grammy Award, for a gospelrecording.
In 1998, Moore went blind from severe glaucoma and completely dropped out of the music industry. However, with the encouragement of Ray Charles, he returned to performing and recording.